|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, May 26, 2004|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106 or Kimberly Beck 781-338-3105|
Massachusetts Awarded $200,000 Grant To Strengthen Leadership In Public Schools
MALDEN - Massachusetts has been selected as one of 15 states by the Wallace Foundation to receive $200,000 and lead a national effort to support, strengthen and enhance the quality of educational leadership in public schools.
The importance of effective leadership has been widely recognized nationwide as critical to school improvement efforts. The State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP) grant is designed to improve instructional leadership and, as a result, improve student achievement.
In Massachusetts, this initiative will help policy makers build local and regional capacity to recruit, prepare, support and retain high quality and diverse leaders. Based on results, SAELP states including Massachusetts will be eligible to renew their grants for up to two additional years, for a total of $600,000.
"The work our school leaders do is critical to the success of our students, and too often that goes unrecognized," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "It is an honor to be given this opportunity by the Wallace Foundation to continue our partnership with school districts to ensure we have the best possible people in charge of our schools to help us improve student achievement."
The funds will be used in Massachusetts for the Department of Education to help strengthen human resources functions in local districts, work with educator preparation programs to ensure that leaders are well prepared, and partner with school districts to support leaders throughout their careers.
The 15 states awarded the grant this year are: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.
The SAELP initiative - combined with the Leadership for Educational Achievement in Districts (LEAD) initiative that includes 12 districts located within the SAELP states - is one of the cornerstones of the Wallace Foundation's education leadership initiative. Launched in 2000, this initiative aims to improve policies and regulations that contribute to and connect current leadership policies and practices at the state, district, school and classroom levels toward the goals of improving student achievement, and to support and share knowledge that will be useful on a broad scale.
Each state will receive support from a national consortium consisting of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Governors Association. The Wallace Foundation is an independent private foundation established by DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, the founders of The Reader's Digest Association. Its mission is to enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people.
For more information and research on the Foundation, please visit The Wallace Foundation for Educational Leadership.